Author Topic: Spouses and retirement  (Read 13627 times)

mxer54

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Spouses and retirement
« on: October 03, 2014, 06:50:27 AM »
Just some venting about how difficult retirement discussions can be when you are married.  How does your spouse feel about your plans to retire and live on more of a budget?  My spouse is a bit younger than I am, she takes care of the household.  She is an outstanding homemaker and wonderful step mother along with being a soon to be mother.  We live on one income and have been since we've been married. I am retiring soon, it's begining to be a source of friction.

She isnt so keen on the idea of downgrading our lifestyle in order for me to retire, it seems. While I feel that I deserve it after working a very demanding job for many years, she doesn't seem too excited about that it.  She gives me a "look" and makes comments like "what do you plan to do, sit around?"...Then when I tell her I'd like to take some time to relax a bit, find a simple hobby, she dismisses it as a trival idea.  It's almost like she'd rather me jump right into another job. I'd like to relax for a while, take some time to just be me...My job was one that can change/affect you a bit, I'd like to find myself again and then move on to something else that I enjoy more...Definitely not sit around.  I'm only talking about a few months or so, I don't see what the problem is.  I often have trouble understanding what women think and feel, so maybe I'm missing something. Anyone else deal or dealing with anything like that?


hdatontodo

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 06:58:35 AM »
Perhaps if you show her on paper that you'll have enough for emergencies, prepaid college, travel, burial plots, and whatever her life's goals are (assuming you've talked with her about what she wants out of life), it will help.


happyfeet

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 06:58:43 AM »
I sort of understand where she is coming from.  She has a routine during the day that does not include you(and I am sure she loves you!).  And now you will be home all the time-  and becoming part of her schedule somehow and maybe she is concerned how you will fit in.  Will you be "advising" her on how she does her job - managing the home/kiddo/cooking?  Just a thought.  And not meant to offend but I stayed home with the kids and  then my hubby due to a job change was home a lot more and was interjecting himself into my doings more than I cared.  Hope that helps. It's a process!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 07:08:56 AM »
There are plenty of people in this board who are working longer than THEY need to, because their wives and kids want a higher standard of living. Cheddar Stacker comes to mind immediately.

Talk about it now. Develop a retirement budget. Try living on it while working. See if everyone can agree.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 07:10:06 AM »
Maybe phrasing it a different way?

You love your wife and your family, and part of retirement in your case (I'm assuming) is spending more time with the ones you love. :D

Also, it almost sounds as if you, individually, are making the choice to retire? And you're sad that she doesn't seem to like the idea? And that you might need to change your spending to do so? Definitely try to make it more like a conversation, not a conversion. You're a team, and big financial decision should be made as a team. You can walk through different options, trade-offs, discuss future goals and dreams. :) 

The Mad Fientist has had several interesting posts about his wife's feelings on retirement, and how they changed over time. They started out with two incomes, so it might be a bit different, but maybe some inspiration there? I think especially getting a vision of "the perfect life" might be a really good exercise to do with your wife: http://www.madfientist.com/the-perfect-life/

GardenFun

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 07:13:30 AM »
She's scared.  Here's her thoughts in "woman language":

- WTF, does he think I'm getting a job?
- I'm pregnant and getting ready to poop out a kid and not sleep for 2 years, and he wants to sit and watch Price is Right?
- Did I marry a slacker?
- I DID MARRY A SLACKER!!
- He's trying to tell me everything is OK but he's a friggin' slacker.  I should have listened to my mom/friend/dog when she said he was no good. 
- Time to turn on the bitch hormones and push back on this stupid idea.....slacker....

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 09:02:47 AM »
Your family should be living the lifestyle that you want to have in retirement now (and have mutually agreed upon).  You shouldn't have to downgrade in retirement.

mxer54

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 09:16:02 AM »
Thanks for the responses! First, Im not a slacker! Haha....My "retirement" is one that can't be helped. I am retiring after over 20 years in the military...Retiring from the military.  I do have enough savings and pension to not work again with a budget that is confortable, ours is a little overboard right now with luxurys we do not "need".  That isn't the plan however, I will work again in some fashion, I won't be able to not do that.

My thought is to take a few (maybe 3) months off between this life and my next, whatever that may be...find a hobby, maybe hunting or fishing or somthing along those lines. Just taking some time before my next venture.  My proposal was to reduce the budget so that we wouldn't affect any savings...Down enough where my pension would cover it. I dont think that should be an issue honestly after over 20 years of dealing with deployments, combat, etc...I'd like to just take some time off. 

Cpa Cat

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 09:19:09 AM »
She gives me a "look" and makes comments like "what do you plan to do, sit around?"...

You could always respond with, "Is that what you do all day?"

>.>

Ok... don't say that.

I just can never wrap my head around these posts where the stay at home spouse is so resistant to the working spouse retiring. I just don't know where they get off saying, "It's ok for -me- to stay home and spend time on hobbies/house/family, but not for you to do the same. Especially if I have to downgrade -my- standard of living (that you pay for) so that you can be happier. That trade off is so not worth it to me."

It's insulting. I would probably blow my top.

I'm guessing you've never looked at her, implied that she's a slacker for staying home and then told her to get a job because you want more disposable income.

mxer54

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 09:34:07 AM »
She gives me a "look" and makes comments like "what do you plan to do, sit around?"...

You could always respond with, "Is that what you do all day?"

>.>

Ok... don't say that.

I just can never wrap my head around these posts where the stay at home spouse is so resistant to the working spouse retiring. I just don't know where they get off saying, "It's ok for -me- to stay home and spend time on hobbies/house/family, but not for you to do the same. Especially if I have to downgrade -my- standard of living (that you pay for) so that you can be happier. That trade off is so not worth it to me."

It's insulting. I would probably blow my top.

I'm guessing you've never looked at her, implied that she's a slacker for staying home and then told her to get a job because you want more disposable income.

Oh man....this goes through my mind everytime.  Saying so would not go over well...haha...If I look at it from a "providing man" standpoint, I am happy to provide for her, enable her to do the things she wants, raise kids, etc...If I look at it from a equal stance, it's complete bs.  I would never come across with that mindset to someone that worked full time and provided for me.  I don't get it at all...I blow my top inside, but try to "communicate" on the outside.  After all, I've held a paying job and WE'VE gotten ourselved in the position where I could stay home, do hobbies, go to the gym and go to school just like she does...So why is it a problem?  Because she wants her space? What a joke...lol

NumberCruncher

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 09:37:14 AM »
Thanks for the responses! First, Im not a slacker! Haha....My "retirement" is one that can't be helped. I am retiring after over 20 years in the military...Retiring from the military.  I do have enough savings and pension to not work again with a budget that is confortable, ours is a little overboard right now with luxurys we do not "need".  That isn't the plan however, I will work again in some fashion, I won't be able to not do that.

My thought is to take a few (maybe 3) months off between this life and my next, whatever that may be...find a hobby, maybe hunting or fishing or somthing along those lines. Just taking some time before my next venture.  My proposal was to reduce the budget so that we wouldn't affect any savings...Down enough where my pension would cover it. I dont think that should be an issue honestly after over 20 years of dealing with deployments, combat, etc...I'd like to just take some time off.


Ah, okay, that makes more sense.

If you know what you want to do after a short break, would it be possible to line something to have a job lined up, but just have a delayed start time? It might partially be fear of losing financial security - maybe you say it would be 3 months, but 3 months turns into 4 months turns into 5 months..etc.

it could also be having trouble understanding what you're feeling and going through emotionally. Like you said in your first post, military life can change/affect you, and often in ways that can be hard to express to people who aren't in that world. Do you have any military friend that has recently done something similar? Maybe knowing other examples of how this worked out will make your wife feel more comfortable, and she could have a talk with someone who was in her position?

Hmmm...I'm trying to think of anything else...maybe making a commitment to helping out more around the house? You say you just want to take a break, and maybe to her it seems like she can never have a break. After all, even in retirement, the house needs to be cleaned, laundry needs to be done, and food needs to be prepared. If you showed how you taking a break could give her a break, too, it might go over better.  :)

dude

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 09:38:01 AM »
So you're not retiring, really.  You are just going to take some time to decompress and find something you WANT to do.  Just explain it to her that way.  Let her know the downgrade is temporary.  And maybe after living the downgraded lifestyle for a while, she won't find it so bad, and you won't have to go back to work?  Or maybe you'll actually find something you like that will pay well, and she'll get an upgraded lifestyle. 

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 09:56:57 AM »
Echoing what Numbercruncher just said. If you think of it from ypur wife's point of view, working has been your 'job' and taking care of the house has (I guess?) been her 'job'. And your wife is pregnant, right? So her 'job' will continue, she will have a newborn to add to the mix, and you'll be... finding a fun hobby? Going fishing? No wo nder her reaction has been a bit snippy! Remember that as soon as you have retired, the housework and childcare is immediately 50/50 responsibility- no reason for it not to be! So maybe emphasise this benefit to her? Oh, and just a hint - if you phrase it as 'helping' in the house, it implies that on some level you consider this to be her responsibility. So mention how you will be around to do 'your share' :) As long as she realises that having you around during the day will make her life easier rather than create more work for her, she may be more positive about the whole thing. Good luck!

RetiredAt63

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 10:05:01 AM »
Echoing what Numbercruncher just said. If you think of it from ypur wife's point of view, working has been your 'job' and taking care of the house has (I guess?) been her 'job'. And your wife is pregnant, right? So her 'job' will continue, she will have a newborn to add to the mix, and you'll be... finding a fun hobby? Going fishing? No wo nder her reaction has been a bit snippy! Remember that as soon as you have retired, the housework and childcare is immediately 50/50 responsibility- no reason for it not to be! So maybe emphasise this benefit to her? Oh, and just a hint - if you phrase it as 'helping' in the house, it implies that on some level you consider this to be her responsibility. So mention how you will be around to do 'your share' :) As long as she realises that having you around during the day will make her life easier rather than create more work for her, she may be more positive about the whole thing. Good luck!

+10000 - there is a reason the joke "I married him for better or for worse but not for lunch" is popular.  If one person is working and the other is at home, if the working one retires but doesn't step up to the plate at home, the one working at home is still working - there is no retirement from children and housework.  And where does everyone think being a SAHM is a free ride?  Confession time, I was glad to go back to work, it was much easier than staying home with a little one, and a lot more mentally stimulating.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 10:32:18 AM »

Oh man....this goes through my mind everytime.  Saying so would not go over well...haha...If I look at it from a "providing man" standpoint, I am happy to provide for her, enable her to do the things she wants, raise kids, etc...If I look at it from a equal stance, it's complete bs.  I would never come across with that mindset to someone that worked full time and provided for me.  I don't get it at all...I blow my top inside, but try to "communicate" on the outside.  After all, I've held a paying job and WE'VE gotten ourselved in the position where I could stay home, do hobbies, go to the gym and go to school just like she does...So why is it a problem?  Because she wants her space? What a joke...lol

I am currently a SAHM to a military spouse and have really worked hard to frame the concept of retirement in such a way that I recognize that he has worked is A$$ off for the last 21 years (and counting) and the man deserves some freedom.  After all, he gave up a good portion of his life so that other people can have it...its his turn. 

That being said, is this a newer relationship?
Is it possible that she is concerned with the baby coming she will be taking care of both of you? 
Is there a honey do list that she hopes you can get to while you are taking a break and finding your next steps?  Maybe if there were a more defined purpose to your "break" she can open herself up to the idea and then that can morph into loving having you at home permanently.

geekette

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2014, 11:35:58 AM »
I'm the stay at home spouse; I'll never get to retire.

Once my DH "decompressed" he took over some of the chores that I disliked and he didn't mind, so we both have time for hobbies and such.

No way would it work for one spouse to do all their usual work and the other slack.

DoubleDown

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2014, 12:30:15 PM »
My two cents: Take the time off and enjoy it guilt-free. At the same time, don't reduce your budget during that period. You're already FI if you lived on a pared-down budget, so there's no need to scrimp for a few months in-between jobs. You can easily afford a little time off without it hurting your overall finances.

Your wife should not begrudge you some deserved time off. But, I think you will have a much better case to make if she is not expected to reign in the spending during that time. In fact, I think that would work against you long-term. If you cast (early) retirement as a lifestyle demanding reduced spending (what she will view as penny-pinching or deprivation), I think she will be very reluctant to ever accept the concept. So, de-couple your time off and reducing the budget. Reducing your budget is a noble overall goal, of course, just don't link it to your time off. Take that issue on over time, slowly, once you're back at work.

At this point, I'd put it to her this way. "You're right, we shouldn't cut costs during some time off, and we don't need to. So, let's just keep that business as usual. But I really do want/need some time off to re-charge between careers. I feel after 20 years, I've earned it." Then listen.

gt7152b

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2014, 12:43:52 PM »
I had some push back from my stay at home wife at first but she is more on board with our future plans now. Some things that helped:

1) Explaining that I would be around more to help with the household and parenting duties. On top of that I've stepped up my contributions at home now thanks to a better work/life balance (I have less stress and after hours work now that I realize how close we are to FI).

2) Talking through the environmental benefits of consuming less. This is especially important for us to demonstrate to our children.

3) Going through a few de- cluttering waves to get rid of unused stuff. This has helped relieve us of many worries about eventually moving to a different town and a smaller house.

4) Planning long, slow travel vacations rather than a week or two at a time. She has been interested in home schooling for a while now so we could potentially not even be constrained by the public school schedule.

5) Plan on part time jobs or digital nomad jobs to pay for luxuries or cover unforeseen expenses if needed. My wife is already trying to start a freelance writing career for herself.

6) Being able to move closer to and/or taking longer visits to see family.

You basically have to show your spouse the benefits from their perspective. It may not be as obvious as it seems.

ambimammular

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2014, 12:59:17 PM »
My first thoughts were that this is pretty bad timing with a baby imminent, but I think you could really turn that to your advantage.

The baby will be particularly demanding upon her for the first months (okay, years) especially if she's breast feeding. That is your time to shine and take over household maintenance and meals. I would make yourself so indispensable that she never lets you go back to work.   

Congrats! On retirement and baby!

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2014, 01:03:56 PM »
Did you include her in the decision-making process, or did you just make your decision and tell her what was going to happen?  The way your initial post read, I get the impression that you told her you were taking a break from work and that your family would have to tighten up the budget.  I would have a HUGE problem if my partner did that to me.

You see, the key word in that last sentence is partner.  My marriage is a partnership that we are both in, regardless of who brings home more income and who takes care of the household responsibilities.  You describe her as an outstanding homemaker and parent, so she obviously is contributing to the family and your quality of life in a positive way.  If my partner made a decision that affected both of us without including me, it would be very clear to me that we are not in the type of relationship that I want to have.  If he told me I would have to start spending less money, I'd wonder what century he was living in to think that he was the only person who had a say in our finances.

About a month ago, my partner came to me and expressed his desire to move.  A friend of his has a rental property that would be less expensive than our townhouse and it is a single-family home.  I love our townhouse.  It's in a perfect location, suits all our needs, and requires no maintenance or yardwork (which is helpful in giving us more free time, since we both work).  My partner has been wanting to move into a single-family home lately, since he's never really lived in one.

If he came to me and said "I found a new house and we're moving," I may well have told him that if he wanted to go, it would be without me.  Instead, he asked me to look at the place with him and he talked to me.  He told me why it was important, listened to my concerns, and addressed them, including talking to the owner about worries I had that he hadn't thought of.  He also made it clear to me that it was important to him for me to be completely on board.  He didn't want me to leave a home I felt comfortable with if it wasn't something I really wanted to do.

In the end, we decided to move.  We've both found pros and cons in the new place, but I think it will be a good adventure.  It's also cheaper, which was certainly a pro for both of us.  But it happened because we were both willing to communicate about what we wanted and needed out of the change.

Quote
How does your spouse feel about your plans to retire and live on more of a budget?

So, to answer your original question, he feels good about our budgeting and retirement plans, because we make them together.  He knows that saving now means that BOTH of us will benefit in the future (we're actually planning on having him retire a number of years before I do, because he has such a physically demanding job). 

We also both understand that the balance of household responsibilities changes depending on who is working more or less.  When he has more time off, he takes over more of the household chores.  I do the same when I have more free time.  When he retires, he will be doing a lot to contribute to our lives, even if he isn't bringing home a paycheck anymore.

Emilyngh

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2014, 01:04:05 PM »

Oh man....this goes through my mind everytime.  Saying so would not go over well...haha...If I look at it from a "providing man" standpoint, I am happy to provide for her, enable her to do the things she wants, raise kids, etc...If I look at it from a equal stance, it's complete bs.  I would never come across with that mindset to someone that worked full time and provided for me.  I don't get it at all...I blow my top inside, but try to "communicate" on the outside.  After all, I've held a paying job and WE'VE gotten ourselved in the position where I could stay home, do hobbies, go to the gym and go to school just like she does...So why is it a problem?  Because she wants her space? What a joke...lol

How much do you currently help out with housework and do you think that she's concerned that if you retired she'd still be doing all of this while you relaxed?   If there's a chance that this is part of it, maybe consider helping out more to make sure that she has the confidence that this won't be the case.

I ask this b/c I think of my own parents' sitch.   My dad has always worked and mom SAH.   *But* my dad has never helped around the house at all and my mom is stuck doing everything.   My dad is now talking about retirement, and you can tell my mom is against it.   I'm pretty sure that she imagines that when he retires she will still be doing everything, she'll just be doing it all with him underfoot while he relaxes, and she'll be doing it all with less household income.


Emilyngh

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2014, 01:13:38 PM »
Oh also, if you have a baby coming, the time you have at home won't (shouldn't) really be time "off."   Babies are more than a full time job, IME.   And even if 2 of you are home, they can make enough work that it will take the two of you to cover it.   The difference is, with two helping, you can coordinate some time to yourselves for showering, cooking and eating well, possibly working out, possibly sleeping close to enough, possibly staying ontop of housework, etc. 

But, I wouldn't approach it with the mindset of you having "off," but rather not doing your current job so that you can be around more to help out so you *both* can maintain some sort of a balanced life.

bogart

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2014, 01:16:44 PM »
Thank you for your service in our military and congratulations on your upcoming retirement.

Much of what I have to say will echo comments above mine.  Over the years, I've heard many a wife (it has always been a wife I've heard say this) in older couples who used the "he works outside the home, she cares for the home" system about how "He got to retire; I never will."  So there's that.  Particularly with a new baby on the way. 

I have no idea how you two will divide up parenting tasks, but thinking (and talking) about this may merit some effort.  My DH retired when our son was 3 and I work full-time outside the home (and have since DS was born), and I *still* do a lot of parenting tasks, partly because I want to but also because we each find our son exhausting (albeit in his own special charmingly cheerful energetic way). 

Last but not least (and here's where I may have something to add above and beyond what other commenters have already said), this could reflect differences in your own family backgrounds and/or personal goals.  I see this 100% in the difference between my family of origin and my DH's.  When my DH's (original) family members are out of the work force (retired or for other reasons), him included they hang out and relax and have hobbies that might involve 10 or 20 hours/week of time.  When my (original) family members are out of the workforce they are ... changing and exploring the world.  My mom is the family member closest to me and she retired a few years before my DH did.  I would swear she is busier now than she was when she was working.  She serves on committees in our church, she volunteers with three different organizations serving different populations in need, she provides childcare to our son, she is in a book group, a kayaking group, and a knitting group, she visits and helps coordinate care for a neighbor who's gone into assisted living ... and looking at her siblings, this is just what they consider normal and appropriate behavior for someone who's not in the paid workforce (and, though to a lesser extent, someone who is in the paid workforce).  It's pretty much what I consider normal, too, to be honest.  So seeing DH's approach (and that of his other family members) has been, um, eye-opening to me (for example, DH doesn't volunteer time at our DS's school whereas I do, which makes no sense but is true all the same).  Is it possible that something like this difference in perspectives is shaping your/your wife's expectations?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 01:18:31 PM by bogart »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2014, 01:29:48 PM »
I talked about my FIRE plans when we first met (I was 20 at the time).  If fact, my plans and her approval of such was probably one of the things that attracted us to each other.  Like most approaching FIRE, we have both experienced some nervousness as we approach the final day.  I react by overplanning, she reacts by panicking a bit.  She even half-joked/half-tested once that I should work another 10 years so we would be REALLY well off, I was not amused or interested.  I try to keep her well versed in the mechanics of things as it gives me comfort, and while I think it does help, what really helps is approval from her friends.  A few supportive friends of hers have really helped out.  I have promised to help out more with housework as well.  I hope I do not have any trouble keeping this promise.           

TrMama

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2014, 04:10:50 PM »
I used to be your wife. Years before I discovered MMM or ER, DH was talking about how he couldn't wait to retire from the military and stay home. WTF! I was thinking. He's going to stay home and watch TV (at the time this was his stated goal) while I continue to work. We have two kids, doesn't he understand how they get more expensive as they get older! OMG I'm going to have to carry all of us financially and physically (in the form of housework). I'm going to die of overwork!

However, I'm now fully on board. How did that happen?

1. In the past 10 years I've gotten to listen to him complain a lot about work. Being in the military means physical labour and injuries. DH has a laundry list of old injuries that will cause him pain for life. As he gets older I really, really don't want to see him in pain anymore. I also really don't want him to acquire any new injuries.

2. The amount of BS the military puts us both through is nuts. In what other job can you be moved x-country, against your will, with 90 days notice, in a bad market thereby costing you thousands of dollars in home equity and your spouse's career.

3. I discovered MMM.

In your case, you should complain about work more. Complain about any physical pain you have from work. Complain about the BS and how it makes you feel. If you're anything like my DH you keep quiet about this stuff and it takes your spouse years to figure it out on her own. Talk about how you could be moved/deployed at any time and start making contingency plans with her. If you've never been posted as a couple, put her in touch with some other wives who will talk about how much it sucks.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2014, 12:53:16 PM »
Perhaps as you absorb more of the home/child care duties, either or both of you find some part time work. Your retirement should be constructive towards your well-being regardless of acquiring any income in the process. However, your spouse may benefit from having some other aspect of her life outside of the home, particularly as you become more accountable and present in the home.

It can be simple, non-demanding, or the opposite, but a couple days working may be something she doesn't know she's missing. In addition to increasing variability in routines, it would also allow her some ownership and contribution to the cash flow as you've taken some ownership and contribution to the home and childcare. This is also beneficial should something tragic happen to you, she will have some recent working experience and would be better equipped to jump into the labor market full time if needed.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2014, 01:29:26 PM »
Old joke among women, "Retirement means half the money...twice the husband". Good luck with your spouse. I am sure she'll come around and enjoy the extra help with the little one!

jka468

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2014, 02:20:28 PM »

Oh man....this goes through my mind everytime.  Saying so would not go over well...haha...If I look at it from a "providing man" standpoint, I am happy to provide for her, enable her to do the things she wants, raise kids, etc...If I look at it from a equal stance, it's complete bs.  I would never come across with that mindset to someone that worked full time and provided for me.  I don't get it at all...I blow my top inside, but try to "communicate" on the outside.  After all, I've held a paying job and WE'VE gotten ourselved in the position where I could stay home, do hobbies, go to the gym and go to school just like she does...So why is it a problem?  Because she wants her space? What a joke...lol

How much do you currently help out with housework and do you think that she's concerned that if you retired she'd still be doing all of this while you relaxed?   If there's a chance that this is part of it, maybe consider helping out more to make sure that she has the confidence that this won't be the case.

I ask this b/c I think of my own parents' sitch.   My dad has always worked and mom SAH.   *But* my dad has never helped around the house at all and my mom is stuck doing everything.   My dad is now talking about retirement, and you can tell my mom is against it.   I'm pretty sure that she imagines that when he retires she will still be doing everything, she'll just be doing it all with him underfoot while he relaxes, and she'll be doing it all with less household income.

I just don't get this. Can you or someone explain to me why it's just soooo bad that a man or woman would get to relax in ER assuming he/she fully did their part and provided enough financially to allow for an ER? Like in my view, without knowing the details of your parents' situation, it sounds like your dad did his job and adequately provided in order to allow your mom to be a SAH spouse.

Like okay, I'd get it if the finances weren't in order and someone wanted to quit work and relax while the spouse still took care of all the homemaking duties, but at least in my view, OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her. I know I wouldn't mind at all if I had a spouse who made enough to RE, secure our finances and relax, if upfront I agreed to the homemaker role.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2014, 02:26:28 PM »
Echoing what Numbercruncher just said. If you think of it from ypur wife's point of view, working has been your 'job' and taking care of the house has (I guess?) been her 'job'. And your wife is pregnant, right? So her 'job' will continue, she will have a newborn to add to the mix, and you'll be... finding a fun hobby? Going fishing? No wo nder her reaction has been a bit snippy! Remember that as soon as you have retired, the housework and childcare is immediately 50/50 responsibility- no reason for it not to be! So maybe emphasise this benefit to her? Oh, and just a hint - if you phrase it as 'helping' in the house, it implies that on some level you consider this to be her responsibility. So mention how you will be around to do 'your share' :) As long as she realises that having you around during the day will make her life easier rather than create more work for her, she may be more positive about the whole thing. Good luck!

Fabulous - so well said!

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2014, 03:13:12 PM »
OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her.

Seriously?  You actually think that a SAH spouse's work can be "finished"? 

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2014, 03:28:05 PM »
OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her.

Seriously?  You actually think that a SAH spouse's work can be "finished"?

Absolutely!  Once the financial provider has built up enough of a stash to be able to pay all the household staff. LOL

Spartana

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2014, 03:37:52 PM »
OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her.

Seriously?  You actually think that a SAH spouse's work can be "finished"?

Absolutely!  Once the financial provider has built up enough of a stash to be able to pay all the household staff. LOL
Yeah - once he starts paying her a wage to do everything she does as a live-in cook, housecleaner, childcare, step-child care all these years while he was in the service, taxi service,  etc... for the next 20 years or so (and lets not forget back pay) and she can pay towards her share of the mortgage out of the pay he gives her - then I guess you can say he can relax and doesn't need to help out. It's not like she's been sitting on her butt doing nothing but eating bon-bons and watching Dr. Phil all these years he's been working, she's been working too.  So they retire together and each contributes an equal share to the household work and child care.  That way they can "both" relax from their jobs and both enjoy retirement...shared together as a couple and as a family.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 03:43:02 PM by Spartana »

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2014, 04:05:27 PM »
I would echo a lot of the comments above. Thank you for your military service! You've given so much to the country

I'm wondering what you are really looking for- a small break between military service and the private sector, partial retirement (work part time, part time retire) or full retire. A break is very common and with a baby on the way, it a great opportunity to bond. A partial retirement (break, followed by part time work) also works and depending on salary + pension, you may not need to cut back. (of course, you may still WANT to =P). A full retirement would sounds like you would like a bit of the fat trimmed off of the expenses just to be safe. Being clear here would be helpful to your wife.

Talk to your wife and make it clear to her that your break is filled with spending quality time with family, friends and new baby. Sharing household duties. And if you are looking to enter the private sector, getting your transition plan done (additional skills, networking, resume, etc). She'll be reassured that you aren't wandering around in last night's PJs, fun as that might be. She's also be reminded that she has a kickass military spouse who will take care of business.

Keep us updated- your date is fast approaching!

If it helps, have your wife check out the forum and ask questions. =)

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2014, 04:14:27 PM »
OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her.

Seriously?  You actually think that a SAH spouse's work can be "finished"?

Absolutely!  Once the financial provider has built up enough of a stash to be able to pay all the household staff. LOL
Yeah - once he starts paying her a wage to do everything she does as a live-in cook, housecleaner, childcare, step-child care all these years while he was in the service, taxi service,  etc... for the next 20 years or so (and lets not forget back pay) and she can pay towards her share of the mortgage out of the pay he gives her - then I guess you can say he can relax and doesn't need to help out. It's not like she's been sitting on her butt doing nothing but eating bon-bons and watching Dr. Phil all these years he's been working, she's been working too.  So they retire together and each contributes an equal share to the household work and child care.  That way they can "both" relax from their jobs and both enjoy retirement...shared together as a couple and as a family.

I hate to break it to you guys - but I've been a stay at home spouse with no kids. It's not that hard.

This guy wants to retire while his kids are young. There's no indication that his plan is to ignore their existence. This seems like exactly the right time to want two parents at home.  But god forbid a father wants to be home with his kids. He couldn't possibly handle these cumbersome childcare duties that are mentally and physically crippling his wife.

I cooked, I cleaned, I ran errands. I did the books for my husband's business and managed the household finances. While I was a stay at home spouse, I did 100% of the household chores. I even mowed the F-ing lawn and grew half our food. And I -still- had time for Dr Phil and bonbons. So yeah, SAH-parents do "retire". When their kids move out. That job just isn't very hard once kids are taken out of the equation.

Then my husband sold his business and retired. When I complained about the uneven distribution of chores, he told me he had worked hard enough for our money and provided us with security. That was his job, taking care of the house was my job. Well, I didn't like the sound of that, so I got myself real job. And guess what? I don't have time for Dr Phil and bonbons anymore! Having a real job is way harder than being a SAHS.

That's the thing - if the OP retires and sits on his butt all day eating bonbons and flying model airplanes, then his wife has an alternative. She can get a job. He'll figure out how to change a diaper and clean the toilet eventually. OR maybe he'll pull his weight and her job will be that much easier. Either way, the SAHS shouldn't be whining about early retirement.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2014, 05:08:46 PM »
OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her.

Seriously?  You actually think that a SAH spouse's work can be "finished"?

Absolutely!  Once the financial provider has built up enough of a stash to be able to pay all the household staff. LOL
Yeah - once he starts paying her a wage to do everything she does as a live-in cook, housecleaner, childcare, step-child care all these years while he was in the service, taxi service,  etc... for the next 20 years or so (and lets not forget back pay) and she can pay towards her share of the mortgage out of the pay he gives her - then I guess you can say he can relax and doesn't need to help out. It's not like she's been sitting on her butt doing nothing but eating bon-bons and watching Dr. Phil all these years he's been working, she's been working too.  So they retire together and each contributes an equal share to the household work and child care.  That way they can "both" relax from their jobs and both enjoy retirement...shared together as a couple and as a family.

I hate to break it to you guys - but I've been a stay at home spouse with no kids. It's not that hard.

This guy wants to retire while his kids are young. There's no indication that his plan is to ignore their existence. This seems like exactly the right time to want two parents at home.  But god forbid a father wants to be home with his kids. He couldn't possibly handle these cumbersome childcare duties that are mentally and physically crippling his wife.

I cooked, I cleaned, I ran errands. I did the books for my husband's business and managed the household finances. While I was a stay at home spouse, I did 100% of the household chores. I even mowed the F-ing lawn and grew half our food. And I -still- had time for Dr Phil and bonbons. So yeah, SAH-parents do "retire". When their kids move out. That job just isn't very hard once kids are taken out of the equation.

Then my husband sold his business and retired. When I complained about the uneven distribution of chores, he told me he had worked hard enough for our money and provided us with security. That was his job, taking care of the house was my job. Well, I didn't like the sound of that, so I got myself real job. And guess what? I don't have time for Dr Phil and bonbons anymore! Having a real job is way harder than being a SAHS.

That's the thing - if the OP retires and sits on his butt all day eating bonbons and flying model airplanes, then his wife has an alternative. She can get a job. He'll figure out how to change a diaper and clean the toilet eventually. OR maybe he'll pull his weight and her job will be that much easier. Either way, the SAHS shouldn't be whining about early retirement.
I think you mis-read what people are saying. No one says he shouldn't retire. He should. But most everyone is just saying that he should also be a part of the home life. Share duties with his spouse not just expect her to continue doing all the same amount of work as before with no help from him.  If she had been employed full time outside the home and he retired sooner then her then shouldn't he be expected to help with the chores and child raising? They are a team. They are married. Their work load at home and their retirement should be a shared thing and he should contribute to reduce her work load so that they can both enjoy early retirement.

As to the OP's original question, well other then reassuring her that you will be an equal partner and that the ER is for both of you and not just you alone and that cutting back on some material things will mean more family/together time, I don't think there is much you can do or say. In time, if all goes well, she'll see that you now have the time to devote to your children, to her, to your home and to a great life. Maybe that will calm her fears about the whole ER thing.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:12:12 PM by Spartana »

Emilyngh

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2014, 05:11:00 PM »

I just don't get this. Can you or someone explain to me why it's just soooo bad that a man or woman would get to relax in ER assuming he/she fully did their part and provided enough financially to allow for an ER? Like in my view, without knowing the details of your parents' situation, it sounds like your dad did his job and adequately provided in order to allow your mom to be a SAH spouse.

Like okay, I'd get it if the finances weren't in order and someone wanted to quit work and relax while the spouse still took care of all the homemaking duties, but at least in my view, OP held up his end of the bargain (I'll provide financially, you provide for the home) and it shouldn't be held against him that he was able to finish his part before her. I know I wouldn't mind at all if I had a spouse who made enough to RE, secure our finances and relax, if upfront I agreed to the homemaker role.

So once someone takes on the "homemaker role" they can never retire and must continue to do all of that work the rest of their life while their partner lies around? Whereas their spouse can work 20 years (or fewer if Mustachian) and then that's it, never must lift a finger again for another 20+ years?

Yeah, this sounds like a super shit deal and I'm pretty sure that no "homemaker" in his/her right mind would sign up for it (although it is often a woman SAH, so way to imply that more often women should have to work forever, whereas men can just "work smart" and retire).   A couple who lives a Mustachian life together and gets to the point of FI together, then both deserve the rewards of the decrease in work that follows.   FI is not achieved by the working spouse alone bringing in adequate money, it's achieved by how the couple lives with the household income.

And if it makes any difference, I am the sole breadwinner in our house with a SAH spouse.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:15:11 PM by Emilyngh »

Inquizator

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2014, 06:20:51 PM »
A couple who lives a Mustachian life together and gets to the point of FI together, then both deserve the rewards of the decrease in work that follows.   FI is not achieved by the working spouse alone bringing in adequate money, it's achieved by how the couple lives with the household income.

And if it makes any difference, I am the sole breadwinner in our house with a SAH spouse.

+1  Also from a sole breadwinner with a SAH spouse.

We're a long ways from FI, but whenever we RE it will certainly mean a redistribution of housework.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2014, 08:37:45 PM »
Sounds like Dr. Doom @ livingafi.com.

It is and it isn't.  My own wife is a working professional (like me) and didn't want me to retire while she was still working. 

But there are some similarities.  She was worried about things that don't bother me at all, like a) what am I going to do with my time? (like, whatever I want, duh!)  b) what are we going to tell the neighbors (I dunno, maybe nothing?) c) what are we going to tell our families (very little probably) and d) does this mean we're going to have a lower QOL? (no - we're going to have higher QOL, because we're not working... seriously, do I even know you, woman?)

Look, I'm not going to hide it.  We had lousy communication on this issue for years.  We ended up scheduling time to talk about FI/RE weekly on Sundays, after our traditional big meal so we were both pretty relaxed.  It still took about three months of these weekly discussions -- as well as some unexpected help from her employer, which suddenly made her job worse -- for her to decide that retiring early was a great idea for both of us.

I started a long thread a while back to look for community feedback to help us overcome this issue.  DoubleDown had some interesting comments at the time -- said something along the lines of "SO Onboarding is going to be an issue down the road for the majority of folks on this blog.  They just don't know it yet.  But they will when they get closer."  I think he's right on the mark here.

+1 to all who said work on communication with your spouse.  Definitely voice willingness and commitment to helping more with the day-to-day home and family related stuff -- I think that will help change her mindset.  Remember, humans can't help themselves from asking "What's in this for me???

Be clear that this is a transformation that's going to benefit her as well as you.  Definitely can't hurt, anyway.



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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2014, 08:42:09 PM »
+1  Also from a sole breadwinner with a SAH spouse.

We're a long ways from FI, but whenever we RE it will certainly mean a redistribution of housework.

+2

Just as I took upon most of the housework when we moved and I got out of a job (right now), whenever I go back to the workforce, or when my SO is able to leave it too, there will be a redistribution of housework.

Apples

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2014, 05:45:50 AM »
I'm young, but I have to agree with everyone else and add/reiterate:  she's going to have a baby, and you're going to quit.  Let's repeat that:
You two are having a BABY and you are going to QUIT?!?  That's what that probably sounds like in her head.  I'm financially savvy, but in her situation I would want a lot more security and a constant income for "what if everything goes wrong" scenarios.  Because we'd be having a baby.  And I would not make the most rational decisions based on facts, a lot of it would be based on whatever emotions were keeping me up at night.  And as others have said, thus far it sounds like you're going to go off and slouch around while she will be taking care of a BABY and not sleeping well and life will be upside down.  I think y'all need some communication.

mxer54

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2014, 06:01:34 AM »
Oh my gosh, I was away from the computer for a few days and just got back today...I can't believe there are so many replies to this post! I'll never be able to respond to each but thanks for all the replies! I'll surely reply once I can read through them all.

expatartist

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2014, 07:01:39 AM »
Stay at home parents are worth 6 figures, according to Salary.com: http://www.salary.com/stay-at-home-mom-infographic/

Calculations are based on the 20 part-time jobs which fit the job description of stay-at-home parents, and total 94.5 hours/week. It behooves everyone to appreciate all the hard work they do.

Cheers

Cpa Cat

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2014, 07:45:34 AM »
Stay at home parents are worth 6 figures, according to Salary.com: http://www.salary.com/stay-at-home-mom-infographic/

Lol. Facilities manager? Psychologist - does every SAHM have a PhD to qualify her for that? CEO? I don't think Facebook and posting on MMM qualifies anyone to be a "computer operator."

What is it worth when I clean up after myself and cook my own dinner? Should I get overtime for that, too? Afterall, I already work 40-60 hours a week, so feeding myself is kind of a chore.

The better comparison would be a 1 year test. Once the kids are in elementary school, a SAHP should take each of the following full-time jobs for 90 days:

1. Housekeeper
2. Line cook
3. Taxi driver
4. Day care provider

And then answer the following questions:
1. Which was harder? The job or being a SAH-spouse?
2. How much was someone willing to pay me for these services?
3. Which did I enjoy more?
4. What did I learn that increased my efficiency and effectiveness as a SAHS?

22.5 hours per week as a janitor and a housekeeper? How long do you think it would take that person to clean a house if they were working for the Merry Maids for $8/hr? Top to bottom, between 1-2 hours per day, if they cleaned it spotless every single day.

Emilyngh

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2014, 08:07:03 AM »
Stay at home parents are worth 6 figures, according to Salary.com: http://www.salary.com/stay-at-home-mom-infographic/

Lol. Facilities manager? Psychologist - does every SAHM have a PhD to qualify her for that? CEO? I don't think Facebook and posting on MMM qualifies anyone to be a "computer operator."

What is it worth when I clean up after myself and cook my own dinner? Should I get overtime for that, too? Afterall, I already work 40-60 hours a week, so feeding myself is kind of a chore.

The better comparison would be a 1 year test. Once the kids are in elementary school, a SAHP should take each of the following full-time jobs for 90 days:

1. Housekeeper
2. Line cook
3. Taxi driver
4. Day care provider

And then answer the following questions:
1. Which was harder? The job or being a SAH-spouse?
2. How much was someone willing to pay me for these services?
3. Which did I enjoy more?
4. What did I learn that increased my efficiency and effectiveness as a SAHS?

22.5 hours per week as a janitor and a housekeeper? How long do you think it would take that person to clean a house if they were working for the Merry Maids for $8/hr? Top to bottom, between 1-2 hours per day, if they cleaned it spotless every single day.

Yeah...I agree that the linked article is really ridiculous.   And this is not b/c being a SAHP isn't hard (IME, it's waaay harder than my highly skilled day job), it's b/c it's ridiculous to try to equate such important work with an exact monetary value by relating it to other paid work, which it really doesn't fit.   

We could have all of the tangible jobs that my DH does as a SAH covered in other ways and it would not cost us more, but would save us money (lots of money!) if he worked instead.   But, the value of the life it creates for us really could not be replicated by other means and as such, it's priceless.   Attaching nonsense monetary value to it does not make it worth more.

expatartist

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2014, 08:44:41 AM »
it's ridiculous to try to equate such important work with an exact monetary value by relating it to other paid work, which it really doesn't fit....Attaching nonsense monetary value to it does not make it worth more.

You have a point. I never thought about it in monetary terms until I read the very un-mustachian Penelope Trunk's hilarious rant "Buying a Spouse"  http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2008/04/10/advice-from-the-top-marry-a-stay-at-home-spouse-or-buy-the-equivalent/

"I want you to know what itís really like to be a woman competing with the men who have stay-at-home wives: Expensive. There are jokes about the hyperbole of the annual study that says that housewives are worth six-figures. I think it is not hyperbole. Those men are getting not just a house manager, but someone who adores his kids, is there all the time, and someone who is willing to have some sort of regular sex life. For all that, the estimate of $100,000 a year seems very low."

For some, like P.Trunk, placing numbers on a job is helpful.

Franklin

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2014, 08:52:37 AM »
Quote
and someone who is willing to have some sort of regular sex life. For all that, the estimate of $100,000 a year seems very low."

Ewww

Cpa Cat

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2014, 09:10:25 AM »
We could have all of the tangible jobs that my DH does as a SAH covered in other ways and it would not cost us more, but would save us money (lots of money!) if he worked instead.   But, the value of the life it creates for us really could not be replicated by other means and as such, it's priceless.   Attaching nonsense monetary value to it does not make it worth more.

I agree with you one hundred percent. I hope, very much, that your DH finds the work he does for your family to be fulfilling and rewarding.

My only point is that if the person in that SAH role doesn't find it rewarding. If they find it punitive and tiresome without a bunch of disposable income to spend, then it's not their right to resent the working spouse for wanting to retire. If money is so important to the SAHS, or if the division of household labor is bothering them, then they just need to accept that it's their turn to take on the working role so that the retired spouse can take on the SAH role.

And if they start working and hate it, then hopefully they will have more empathy for their spouse's desire to retire. I suspect that each spouse taking on the role of the other will help them set a couse in retirement that satisfies both of them - if they're not able to do this without that experience.

But being a SAHP is a choice that people make. Economically, most families are eventually better off if the SAHP returns to work. Emotionally, that may not be the case. If the SAHS isn't getting enough emotional fulfillment from that work, then the solution isn't to force their spouse to work more so they can spend more money, the solution is to make changes to the SAHS side of the equation.

Anyway, I hope the OP retires and enjoys time with his baby. Young kids are a lot of work - they require tons of supervision, interaction, and make a non-stop mess. The more hands on deck the better.

But he didn't sign up to work forever anymore than his wife did. If she wants more money, then she should just go make more money. Heck - maybe she'd find paid labor to be freeing and fulfilling. A lot of women do.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2014, 09:25:35 AM »
I consider total workload and think a goal of a good marriage/partnership should be to share it as equitably as possible.  If one side gets to drop some load (retire, kids leave home, etc) then they should step up and make the other spouse's life easier.  The idea of either spouse livin' la vida bon bon while the other sweats it out in the salt mines is not cool. 

To OP, ensure your wife knows that expenses will be covered and that you can't wait to be there for her and the baby.  She has no idea how much you will make her life easier after the birth.

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2014, 09:42:22 AM »
So once someone takes on the "homemaker role" they can never retire and must continue to do all of that work the rest of their life while their partner lies around? Whereas their spouse can work 20 years (or fewer if Mustachian) and then that's it, never must lift a finger again for another 20+ years?

Yeah, this sounds like a super shit deal and I'm pretty sure that no "homemaker" in his/her right mind would sign up for it

Yes, this. It may have been unintentional, but what it sounds like is that you want to take some time off, but she doesn't get the same. She will still be working her "day job" while you get to explore some new hobbies and relax. I wouldn't like that deal either. Perhaps if your framed it as BOTH of you half-retiring for a while, while you BOTH relax and explore hobbies while sharing the household work, she might be more on board.

I certainly wouldn't be amenable to my spouse unilaterally deciding he was going to stop working for a while, even though we could technically live on my income if he did so. It should be a joint decision with mutual benefits,

GardenFun

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Re: Spouses and retirement
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2014, 12:01:36 PM »
Quote
and someone who is willing to have some sort of regular sex life. For all that, the estimate of $100,000 a year seems very low."

Ewww

Don't do that!  I almost choked on my PB&J!